Hindi Medium, a movie that takes a dig at education system

The film shows the plight of parents struggling to get a nursery seat for their child

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | May 16, 2017 | New Delhi


#RTE   #Atishi Marlena   #Manish Sisodia   #government schools   #Hindi Medium   #EWS   #Blog  
Illustration: Ashish Asthana
Illustration: Ashish Asthana

If you are a parent living in Delhi who has fought a battle of nursery admission or is a parent who would do that in near future, the film Hindi Medium is your story. Having covered the nursery admissions in the last one decade as a journalist and now a parent myself, I can say that getting a nursery seat is a herculean task in Delhi. The film shows the real-life experiences of parents and the problems thousands of them face every year, with a dash of humour.

The film, starring Irrfan Khan and Pakistani actress Saba Qamar, shows the plight of parents who aspire to send their daughter to an English medium school.  Probably the first film made to highlight the flaws of education system, it points out at the need to reform the education system. It shows that education, which is supposed to be a not-for-profit activity and right of every child, has emerged as a big business opportunity. 
 
While the film will release on May 19, a screening was organized on May 13 for deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, who handles the education portfolio, and the department of education. 
 
The government-run schools across India are in bad shape. Shortage of classrooms, insufficient teachers and low learning levels are some of the problems they have faced over the years. They have been left to decay for a long time. It is because of the poor standards of such schools that parents have shifted to private schools. 
 
More children and less number of good quality private schools; the nursery admission blues has become an annual problem since the private schools got autonomy. And it has become challenging for parents to score a seat for their child in the city.
 
The film is about a couple who dream to give the best education to their daughter and the problems they face. Irrfan Khan portrays the role of a father with a daunting task in hand. A businessman from Chandni Chowk in central Delhi, he wants his daughter to get admission in a reputed school in Delhi. 
 
He is ready to do anything. From changing house and moving to a posh neighbourhood in south Delhi to come within the 3 km radius of the school, to bribing the school principal and asking an MLA for help, he leaves no stone unturned. The couple also hire a consultant for this. But still do not manage to get admission. 
Meanwhile, his worker’s son gets admission in a reputed school under the quota reserved for economically weaker section (EWS). When all other means fail, he decides to take the EWS route. 
 
The film highlights the pressure build up on children to speak in English and how education is creating a divide within the society. It also points out at the increasing ambition of parents from EWS to send their children in English medium schools. The RTE Act mandates reserving 25 percent seats for such children, but corruption and scams act as roadblocks. 
 
Manish Sisodia said that the film has shown the reality and that is why the government of Delhi is working hard to solve the problem. He said there is a need to focus on the quality of government school education and the government must develop a strong alternative to private schools. 
 
“Improving the system is a complex issue, but the work has already been started.” 
 
He added that the stigma attached to the government school will take time to go. 
 
“Private schools have become really powerful. They do whatever they wish to. And whenever we pass any regulation, they pressurize and corrupt the system. I don’t think by bringing more strict rules and regulation we can really solve this problem. The solution lies in fixing the problem with government schools. We are working to bring the government schools at par with the private schools by improving their quality. If people are confident about government schools, then only this problem can be solved.”
 
Sisodia said that government schools have been left to decay for around 25 years and thus, cannot be improved overnight. “For the last two years we have been improving the quality of government schools. The confidence of people is increasing now. And it will take some time to change the perception of government schools.”
 
The education minister also said that the government is working to bring strict rules and regulations to ensure there is enough transparency in the system. “There are laws which favour private schools. We have been writing to the government of India of bringing change in that.” 
Sumit Vohra, founder of admissionsnursery.com who has also written a book on this, said that the book is based on real life experience of parents.
 
Atishi Marlena, advisor to Manish Sisodia, also attended the screening. She said that the film is excellent portrayal of the education crisis in Delhi.
 
“We know the problem when it comes to nursery admission. We know many scams happen in the EWS admission in the private schools. There is a demand and supply problem. There are very few high quality schools. And I think eventually the answer is to improve government schools.” 
 
Marlena also said that the government is working to make the process of nursery admission in private schools more transparent, and also improving the quality of government schools is the way ahead.

Comments

 

Other News

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.

Prakash Ambedkar on why he wants other parties to mention the candidates’ community

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo

Maharashtra, Haryana polls: parties spent Rs 280.72 crore on publicity

Political parties that contested the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections in 2014 spent the largest part of their expenses, Rs 280.72 crore (77.35 percent), on publicity, shows an analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW). This was followed by Rs 41.40 crore on travel expenses, Rs 22.59 crore on

Why Modi-Xi informal summit in Mamallapuram is important

Barely four days are left for Chinese president Xi Jinping to land in Mamallapuram (or Mahabalipuram) for an informal summit with prime minister Narendra Modi. While official confirmation is still awaited at the time of writing, the two leaders are expected to meet in this Tamil Nadu town known for its tem

Aarey tree cutting: Supreme court orders status quo

Citizen protesters had some relief on Monday as the Supreme Court ordered a status quo pm the cutting of trees in Aarey forests of Mumbai to build a Metro Rail shed. The apex court’s forest bench will hear the matter in detail on October 21 to find out if the selected site falls in the

Single-use plastic ban: Govt to focus on awareness

After prime minister Narendra Modi in his independence day address to the nation referred to the environmental harm caused by single-use plastic, the government was widely expected to come out with a formal ban on the substance from October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. There has been n



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter